5 Feb 2011

Gateshead Thunder prop Chris Parker (See photo) has been named the 2009-2010 Ray Morris Medal Winner by the Malta Rugby League (MRL).

The Championship One forward and Malta national team vice-captain played starring roles on and off the field for Malta and beat the largest field of nominees in the history of the award.

Parker was first past the post ahead of the likes of Sharks hooker Dane Snelson, Cardiff Demons centre Paul Bartlett and fellow Malta internationals Brad Clews, Pat Galea, Roderick Attard, Daniel Grima and Charlie Bonanno.

The Ray Morris Medal is awarded to the Maltese Rugby League Player of the Year, in memory of Ray Morris, an Australian rugby league international who passed away in Malta while travelling to England for the Kangaroo tour of 1933-34.

Speaking from Gateshead, Parker said “This is an amazing honour. There are so many great people involved with the Malta Rugby League and to be recognised like this is a true honour. I want to take this opportunity to thank the players around me in the national team that have given me so much will to be involved and to the volunteers and directors of the Malta Rugby League”

MRL President Mark Sultana added, “Congratulations goes to Chris as the commendable recipient of the award this year and to add further credit to his achievement, the nominees for 2009-2010 alone included players from Australia, Wales, Malta and England right through to Super League”

“The MRL heavily relies on the support of its players and without the likes of many players such as Chris and the other award nominees, the MRL would not be in the position that it is with a respectable reputation across its fellow European rugby league playing nations”

The MRL also acknowledged previous award winners, national team captain Daniel Grima (2008-2009) and Celtic Crusaders playmaker Jarrod Sammut (2007-2008).

In 2007, Sammut capped off a remarkable year that saw him make his NRL debut for the Penrith Panthers and then score the winning try for Malta at Floriana Stadium against the British Defence Forces.

Daniel Grima held out Jarrod Sammut from taking back-to-back honours with his off-field capabilities leading him to the award ahead of Roderick Attard for the 2008-09 season.

Ray Morris Medal Honour Roll

Chris Parker (Gateshead Thunder and Malta)
Daniel Grima (North, Malta and Malta)
2007-2008Jarrod Sammut (Penrith Panthers and Malta)
2006-2007Brendan Russell (Mackay Brothers and Malta)
2005-2006Willie Grech (Sydney Bulls and Malta)
2004-2005Paul Harris (Narellan Jets and Malta)
 Bradley Clews (Blacktown City and Malta)